The Associate Programme
We’re a community who put purpose before profit. Who get stuck in and never think of work as ‘just a job’. Our Associate Programme provides the space you need to jump-start a purpose led career. It’s a way to gain experience of working in purpose-oriented organisations while receiving a level of support that you’d rarely receive in a conventional working situation. Weekly training sessions introduce you to new ways of thinking, and the community you’re surrounded by is ever-inspiring - and a lot of fun. This pack aims to shed light on what it’s like to be an Associate, and what we’re looking for during the application process. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Programme Structure and Key Information
Mentoring and Coaching
After The Programme
What We Look For
An Example: Parita’s Time as an Associate
An Example: David’s Time as an Associate
Programme Structure and Key Information The Associate Programme is a full-time, year-long programme. During this time, you: • Complete two six month placements in purpose-oriented organisations, working with them for 4.5 days per week • Take part in half a day of training every Friday afternoon • Benefit from mentoring sessions every fortnight, and coaching sessions every quarter • Enjoy the invaluable support of the On Purpose community, both in the UK and abroad The programme is based in London. Over the year, we’ll provide a £22,500 stipend for your year of training and development. You also get a normal UK holiday allowance. When you complete the programme, you’ll remain part of our diverse, connected and collaborative community. Please note that to apply, you’ll need at least two years of full-time, paid work experience. You’ll also need to be eligible to work in the UK for the duration of the programme. To apply for the programme, click here:
Placements “Whatever placement you end up working at you’ll be valued. You have a real opportunity to deliver value and drive change” - Ann, 2011
The organisations we work with are social enterprises, social divisions of profit seeking companies and charities. Previous placements have included:
• Working with Clarity, one of the UK’s oldest social enterprises, to launch The Soap Co. - a new consumer brand that Placements are a central part of the creates employment for blind people programme. In them, you work in a • Developing ‘nudges’ with the Behavpurpose-oriented organisation for six ioural Insights Team at King’s College months – for example, tackling food London, to make the university work waste with Fareshare or poverty with Big better for all students Issue Invest. You meet like-minded • Setting up a climate activism campaign people and grapple with a variety of for Ben & Jerry’s problems. Then you do it over again at a • Helping Big Society Capital set up the different organisation. Business Impact Challenge to encourage corporate social investment Associates find their placements useful in a number of ways. For example, DimPlacement allocation itra took part in the programme in April 2014 and said: “my placement at the We arrange a speed-dating style event to British Council has given me the job match you with your placements – giving satisfaction I’d been dreaming of. I find the work I am doing really rewarding and you a chance to meet key staff from a number of placement organisations, feel that I am able to contribute to my social concerns. I still use skills from my and giving them a chance to meet you. Following the event, we consider your previous corporate role – and I feared that I wouldn’t like that – but the subject preferred placements (and the placematter is so different and interesting, that ment’s preferred Associates) and aim I find the work I do much more rewarding. to allocate the best Associate-Placement matches we can. The matching Working in the social enterprise sector process ensures that the interests and has definitely inspired me and has backgrounds of all of our Associates are helped increase my creative thinking.” taken into account.
Katie Hobson (Oct â€˜15) on her first day with British Council
Training “The On Purpose year was crucial to helping me understand how I could transfer my skills and apply them to something truly fulfilling” - Harriet, 2010
Mentoring and Coaching “From mentors, coaches, our cohort, to the On Purpose team and broader network – the people element is invaluable.”- Clemence, April 2014
We’re privileged to receive training run Mentors are your most frequent regular by brilliant people from the Social Invest- support, meeting you every fortnight. ment Business, McKinsey, the Design They provide guidance and challenge Council and more. The training introyou, while getting to know you on a perduces you to new ways of thinking and sonal level and helping you with your gives you the knowledge you need to career beyond On Purpose. They’ll also achieve your potential. Training covers help you overcome the challenges of four key areas: your placements and add value to them, e.g. by reviewing a board presentation • Commercial basics: The fundamen- or helping you navigate organisational tals of how organisations work, from politics. strategy and marketing to finance and law Coaches meet with you four times a • Social Sector Know-How: What you year. They’re experienced professiondon’t learn in the private sector: the als who have not only done significant landscape, complexities and particu- amounts of coaching at senior and execlarities of purpose-driven organisations utive levels in organisations, but have – delivered by those who have been also had careers in business themselves. there and done it They offer an opportunity to step back • Professional Skills: The problem and reflect on what you’re learning from solving, teamwork and communication the programme and where your future skills needed to excel in any working career might take you. The coaches are environment independent of On Purpose and their • Personal Development: Helping you objective is to support your leadership understand yourself and those around development; they’ll challenge you to find you; your strengths and goals and how your own solutions based on your own you might achieve them strengths and values. Training is also a weekly opportunity to chat with the rest of your cohort, offer each other support and share ideas and skills. You can find examples of previous training sessions on our website.
After The Programme “I’ve learned a lot about what I want from my career, and I’m more committed to the need for great, forward thinking, socially aware businesses than ever before. I’m looking forward to the next step and playing my part.” – David Puttergill, Oct 2014 The On Purpose experience doesn’t stop after a year. Those who complete the Associate Programme remain a central part of our community, and continue enjoying its benefits. We share developmental opportunities with each other, have socials together and involve alumni in the selection and training of new Associates. Our online collaboration platform ensures you never miss out on events and meet-ups relevant to your interests. We’ll also do what we can to help you find a job after the programme. Job openings are shared amongst the community, and Associates frequently find jobs with present or past placement organisations. While we can’t guarantee you a job, we’ll always help you with your search where we can. Plus, a year on the Associate Programme provides ample preparation for a purpose-oriented career: successful Associates have a significantly higher sense of purpose than they do before the programme, and feel more able to clearly articulate their long term professional goals. Over 98% of Associates feel they have a good awareness of professional opportunities in the social enterprise space - compared to 26% before the programme. 8
What We Look For To become an Associate, you must have at least two years of full time, paid work experience. Beyond that, we’ll happily consider you whether you have five years experience or fifteen: above all, we look for people with an inspiring track record of achievement, be it personal, professional or academic. Throughout the assessment process, you’ll be asked to demonstrate: • Motivation and persistence: the ability to turn ideas into reality and seize opportunities, to challenge yourself and set goals, and to knowing when to compromise or to involve others • Interpersonal skills: convincing, drawing in and inspiring others, whilst also dealing effectively and sensitively with conflict • Attitudes and mindsets: retaining high expectations, an open mind and an eagerness to experience new things; being pragmatic, self-sufficient, and comfortable with changing situations. Able to articulate your commitment to work in the social enterprise space • Problem solving: structuring and breaking down complex problems into solvable elements, whilst not losing sight of the big picture; being comfortable with quantitative analysis and mental arithmetic We’ll also be looking for your ability to communicate clearly and persuasively, to listen carefully and to make a mature and professional impression. 9
Application Process We’ve designed the application process to reflect the challenge and enjoyment of being an Associate. This way you’ll get a better sense of what being on the programme is about. Plus, if you learn and thrive over the course of the assessments, we’ll have confidence that you’ll do well if you’re invited to join the programme. We recruit twice a year with an April and an October start of the programme. Online Applications: March - May and September - November Submit an application online as soon as possible, including a copy of your CV, a cover letter and a URL to a short video that introduces you. Click here for full details. During this period, we’ll also be holding drinks evenings where you get a chance to meet some of our community and ask questions about the programme. You can find information about these evenings here. Learning about and Engaging with the Programme: Late May-Early June and November Prior to your interviews, you’ll be offered the opportunity to: • Join a conference call detailing what to expect from the interviews and how to prepare for them • Attend an example On Purpose training session • Review an example of a project that you could be working on in a placement, and different ways you might approach challenges in that project.
Interviews: Mid June and end November Attend in-person interviews, with invitations to be sent in May and November. You attend two interviews: one that focuses on your personal experiences, and a social enterprise based case interview which will test problem solving skills. You’ll be interviewed by members of the core team, current Associates and Fellows. Regardless of the outcome of your application, we offer 1:1 feedback to everyone that we interview. Please note, we’re unable to make offers to candidates that we haven’t met in person during the application process. Offers made: June - August and November - December Placement allocations: September and March First placement begins: October and April
An Example: Parita’s Time as an Associate
Why did you choose to apply for the programme, and what did you get out of it? I felt sure I wanted to move into social enterprise but wasn’t clear on what the opportunities were, what area I wanted to work, how to look for jobs and I had no contacts. On Purpose sounded like an incredible opportunity to gain all of this, as well as find a community of people who you could support you and you could share the experience with.
Parita took part in the programme in October 2012. Here’s what she did before, during and after her time as an Associate: What were you doing before you joined the Associate Programme? I worked for a few years at Oliver Wyman, a strategy consultancy focused on the Financial Services sector. What made you decide to move? When I was 18, I came across the concept of a “social business” and was excited by the prospect of a middle ground between charity and business and its potential to create lasting change. My interest was sparked, but the corporate sector pulled me in for a few years after graduating and then I finally took the leap to explore this concept of social enterprise by actually working in the space.
Where did you spend your placements? One of my placements was at Shaftesbury Partnership, a social business intermediary and incubator. I had a key role in managing the operations for FranchisingWorks Licence fund, which has £1.2m investment to provide financial support to unemployed people looking to become self-employed via a franchise business. My other placement was at a young consultancy, A Very Good Company, where I worked on a range of internal and client projects ranging from corporate employee engagement to youth entrepreneurship. Where are you now? After completing On Purpose I joined Oomph! Wellness, a social enterprise that aims to improve the quality of life of older adults through fun, interactive exercise classes. As Head of Impact, I am driving our work on tracking and measuring the benefits of our classes, and continuing to increase the evidence base for our impact via research studies. 11
An Example: David’s Time as an Associate
What were you doing before you joined the Associate Programme, and what are you doing now? I started out as an accountant at PwC, then tried out corporate finance for a bit. I’m now head of operations at Fair Finance, a social business tackling financial exclusion, based in East London. Why did you change careers? I didn’t care enough about what I was doing. I studied Geography, and always knew that there were a lot of things I’d like to change about the world, but I was working on things that started to seem a bit pointless. I also just couldn’t picture myself wanting to be any of my bosses which was a bit depressing. What would you advise others to do in the same situation? Go for it. The worst scenario is that you pick up a bunch of new skills and go back to where you were as a more interesting person. Click here to read more of David’s story 12
Useful Links If you’d like to know more about us or the Associate Programme, we’ve created a number of useful resources online. • Humans On Purpose documents some of the characters that make up, and inspire, our community • Associate Yearbooks are a great place to find out about the experiences of past Associates • Our information evenings explain more about the programme, offer a chance to meet some of our core team and Associates in person, and to ask any questions you might have • This video from one of our information evenings is full of useful insights about the programme. • Our Paris and Berlin websites have more information about the Associate Programmes we run in France and Germany. To apply for the programme, click here:
Contact Us If you have any questions about the programme, please do get in touch with us at email@example.com Beyond that, best of luck with your application. We look forward to getting to know you!